12 Days of Thanksgiving: DAY FOUR
“Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, for his mercy endures forever.”
When we visited the beach this summer, we searched for shells. We waited as the waves moved in with their endless rhythm. And then as the wateer moved back out, we searched for glimpses of color or glimmering white. We tried to capture the tiny shells with our feet or our hands while it seemed each one was seeking to be buried by the sand or carried out again in the swirling water. They were elusive, but we managed to make it home with a bucket full.
Sometimes I feel like I’m searching for God’s goodness in that same way. I know it’s bound to be there in abundance, but the murky moments of life make it hard to grasp. Still I search for it. To find that glimmer of truth and faith I can hold on to. And keep. And look upon to remember the moments when His goodness made itself known in the face of hard circumstances.
I know God was with Mike in those darkest moments. Those final moments. Even in the betrayal of his own mind. In the cloudiness of his preparations. In the literal final step. I’m grateful for that. I’m comforted by that.
But I can’t help but ask why? And how? How could You let this happen? How could You let that one day happen? How could You let the last few years of my life happen as they did? To this end? And where? Where was my miracle? Where was the miracle for Mike? Where was the miracle for my children that would have allowed them to grow up with a father?
I struggle with the belief that in His ultimate providence, God’s best will prevail. How can this be better for us? How can this be best? All those people in Your recorded history. All those people who saw the unbelievable materialize before their eyes. Was our faith not strong enough? Was our sin too great? Did I not ask or reason or beg or try hard enough? Were the cries of our souls not loud enough? Was our sincerest hope too limited? Did you look on our faith and see not quite the mustard seed required? Was the innocence of my babies not worth preserving? Was my heart just too ripe for crushing?
Where was our miracle?
Even in the wrestling of these almost blasphemous questions, I can see a small glimspe — a shadow really — of an even more difficult truth.
That this WAS best. I can barely even write that sentence. Maybe this was and is God’s best. His best and most perfect allowance in such a flawed and broken situation, in the midst of such flawed and broken hearts. That somehow this DID preserve their innocence, as only God’s providential hand can. That in these times — like now, and like then — we reach and grasp for a faith that is just enough for this moment. And it is enough. Maybe no more, but certainly no less. And that the crushing of my heart can result in a deeper and more complete healing.
I believe this: In spite of the despair and horror of those few moments on September 20th, heaped upon the despair of so many months and years before, Mike never got anything less than the very best of God. I never got anything less than the very best of God. The best of God far exceeds anything my feeble mind can comprehend.
I’m reminded today that God does not make His decisions based on me — what I’m strong enough to withstand or what I’m too weak to handle. His decisions come from His perfect understanding and sovereignty in what was, what is and whatever will be. To accept WHATEVER comes from His hand is to accept my own greatest good.
For, He is good.